Iglesias calls Switzerland against WCup ahead of debut in Spain - Sport

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Iglesias calls Switzerland against WCup ahead of debut in Spain - Sport

BARCELONA, SPAIN (AP) — Borja Iglesias has been waiting for this moment for a very long time.

The Real Betis striker hopes to make his international debut at the age of 29 when Spain host Switzerland in the Nations League in Zaragoza on Saturday.

Iglesias could also win a second game to reward the trust coach Luis Enrique has placed in him when Spain visit Portugal on Tuesday. That match could be a winner-take-all match with the Nations betting a ticket to his league’s Final Four tournament.

And if he impresses his coach, Iglesias could get a ticket to the World Cup in November.

Not too bad for a striker who didn’t become a regular first-division player until he broke out at Espanyol in 2019 before joining Betis in 2019.

Iglesias was vital in helping Betis, who won last season’s Copa del Rey, end a 17-year wait for a major title. took Betis to the final, where they defeated Valencia on penalties after Iglesias scored the team’s goal in regular time.

And he continues to impress with this campaign. His six goals in the same number of games is second only to Barcelona striker Roberto Lewandowski, who has scored eight goals for him in the Spanish league.

Now, with injuries to Gerardo Moreno and Mikel Oyazabal and a lack of playing time for Raúl de Tomas, Iglesias is eyeing a chance to play at the World Cup in Qatar.

But before that, he needs to help Spain in the Nations League, where they lost to France in last year’s final.

Iglesias said he was trying not to think about the possibility of going to the World Cup, and Luis Enrique will make a final decision on which players to sign after those two Nations League matches.

“I want to enjoy the moment, I want to help the team, I want to learn. We still have a long way to go before the World Cup and there are many players who want to go,” said Iglesias. “My focus is here and now.”

When Luis Enrique added Iglesias to his squad, he said he liked how the striker clearly enjoyed the game.

“I try to have fun on the field. At certain moments in my career, people didn’t really like it because they thought I wasn’t taking the game seriously, so my coach told me he liked it.” I am very lucky and you must enjoy life.”

Nicknamed ‘The Panda’, Iglesias has proven both as a solo attacker in defensive Espanyol and as a free-flowing forward in Manuel Pellegrini’s attack-first Betis.

Spain lead Group A2 in the Nations League with eight points, one more than Portugal, with two games remaining. The Czech Republic are third with four points. Switzerland is bottom of her three.

Spain beat Switzerland on Saturday and Portugal can top the group if they lose to the Czech Republic. If not, the Iberian neighbors will decide which team will go on as group winner when they meet in Braga on Tuesday.

The top tier four group winners will advance to the Final Four tournament scheduled for June 14-18.